School Campaign Celebrates Jamaica's Golden Anniversary

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2012) — Jamaica, the Caribbean's third-largest island, will be celebrating 50 years of independence from British rule on Aug.6, 2012.  To mark this golden anniversary, Food For The Poor is launching the “Jamaica 50 Campaign” to build 50 schools in 50 months. The initiative will work like this:  

  • In August of 2012, the first school will open, and then a new school will open each month for the next 50 months.
  • Food For The Poor will replace a school that has been targeted by a community that’s been deemed as an unfit space for children to learn.

Music is often what comes to mind when speaking of Jamaica, but education has always been a seed deeply planted into the minds of the Jamaican people. The Caribbean nation has experienced its share of economic hardship – many parents cannot afford to pay school fees, buy books, school supplies or uniforms necessary to send their children to basic school.  Many of the nation’s school buildings are dilapidated or in desperate need of repair.

“It is important for those who have decided to leave Jamaica to pursue their dreams in Canada or the United States to remember their homeland, the homeland of their parents, their grandparents,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “The best gift of all is the gift of knowledge, and those who are in a position to help can do so by providing the children of Jamaica with safe and inspiring places to learn.”   

This is a monumental, but exciting commitment by Food For The Poor to build these schools for children ages 3 to 6 years old. The ministry is looking forward to working with its donors on making this project between Jamaica, the United States and Canada a lasting legacy for generations to come.

The basic schools or Early Childhood Institutes are the backbone of the educational system in Jamaica because it is where young children develop their character, and get the educational foundation needed to advance to primary school, which is equivalent to an elementary school in the United States.

Each basic school constructed will have an office, sick bay, kitchen, bathroom/sanitation, and one large classroom that can be subdivided into three learning spaces. There’s an average capacity of 40 students per school, but depending on the size of the structure, up to 100 students could be attending one school at a time. There’s typically one teacher and a teacher’s assistant in the smaller schools, and three or more in the larger schools.

Food For The Poor will share photos of each new school, along with a description of the school before it was replaced, its students, the teachers, the community and how the new school has affected that community. Supporting “Jamaica 50 Campaign”is an opportunity for Food For The Poor and our donors to celebrate the past, and the future of an independent Jamaica.

Food For The Poor, the largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of the hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.

For more information, please visit

Wanda Wright
Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079